Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
rchase

A Question Of Timing

Recommended Posts

I have some questions about improving timing on the bike. I was listening to one of the school's audio books and a very interesting topic about the timing of braking vs turning caught my attention. Watching some of my on track footage I noticed my front forks fully extend and bounce back into place and then afterwards (a LONG time afterwards) I turn the bike into the corner. It's most pronounced coming off a long straight at speeds of 150+. Obviously I'm juggling a lot of tasks of braking, downshifting, sampling speed, visuals and getting my body in position in a compressed amount of time because of the speed involved.

 

I would like to take advantage of some of the geometry enhancements that the brakes offer the front end of the bike but obviously my timing is WAY off. Does anybody have some tips or drills that would help me with the tasks of dealing with all of this and getting the timing right? I would love to have an ultra smooth transition from the brakes into the corner while being able to maintain my speed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Couple of questions about how you are doing it now:

1) Do you have a brake release point?

2) Do you have a definite reference point for your turn point?

3) When do you slide your hips over in preparation for your turn? Before, during or after braking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the help!!!

 

1. That would be a big no. I usually sample speed until the entry speed "feels right". Come to think about it that could be part of the problem right there. How can you consistently do something when you are flying by the seat of your pants with lots of variables every time.

 

2. Yes. At least I got one thing right. :)

 

3. Usually towards the end of the braking right after my downshifts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking about this for a moment. Are #1 and #2 are in theory the same place within just a few milliseconds of one another?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking about this for a moment. Are #1 and #2 are in theory the same place within just a few milliseconds of one another?

 

Depends on your trail braking skill level. :P It can be either slightly before (no trail) or some time after then turn in point (with trail).

 

Lemme re ask your question in a different way.

 

Do you feel you're getting your entry speed right?

Do you feel you're getting your entry speed right prior to turn in or after?

How much braking is still in effect at the moment of turn in?

What marker(s) can you move to shorten the gap between arriving at the "good" entry speed and the turn in point?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In theory, you would be tapering off the brakes as you approach your turn point, releasing just as you turn the bike, so that the forks remain compressed. (As opposed to the forks extending after you release the brakes then compressing again as you turn, if you release the brake, coast, then turn.) So yes, your brake release point and turn point definitely be the same point - but in your original post it did not sound like they were. :)

 

When you brake after the straight, are you braking hard then releasing suddenly and completely, or are you tapering your brake pressure down as you approach your turn point?

 

Per your post above (#3), if you are moving your lower body over AFTER braking and BEFORE your turn point... and you want your brake-release point and turn point to be the same spot... could you run into a problem there? :)

 

Do you recall from class WHEN you want to move your hips over in preparation for a turn?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OH OH OH!!! Hotfoot! Let's ask him this...

 

How do you know you have set a good marker for a break release point? :) Hint... it matches with something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Lemme re ask your question in a different way.

 

Do you feel you're getting your entry speed right?

Do you feel you're getting your entry speed right prior to turn in or after?

How much braking is still in effect at the moment of turn in?

What marker(s) can you move to shorten the gap between arriving at the "good" entry speed and the turn in point?

 

 

#1. Right for me. Probably lots slower than you guys. :)

#2. For a long time I set the speed for the apex at the turn entry point and scratched my head as to why I was going through the corners so slow. I think I finally have that one resolved.

#3. I have a feeling this one is a trick question relating to #2. For me there's no actual "braking" as I have long released the lever. There however is still slowing due to the bike naturally decelerating in the corner as you add lean angle.

#4. Brake on and Brake off.

 

The funny thing is the brakes are a really simple control in theory (on and off) but in reality they are more complicated than that. Brake Pressure, Time and how they are turned on and turned off all have drastic effects on the distance it takes to "adjust" the speed and where your front forks are positioned afterwards. To be 100% honest my bike has great brakes with ABS but I have no idea how capable they "really" are. That's probably part of the problem as well. It would be awesome to have a parking lot large enough for some 150mph braking practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In theory, you would be tapering off the brakes as you approach your turn point, releasing just as you turn the bike, so that the forks remain compressed. (As opposed to the forks extending after you release the brakes then compressing again as you turn, if you release the brake, coast, then turn.) So yes, your brake release point and turn point definitely be the same point - but in your original post it did not sound like they were. :)

 

When you brake after the straight, are you braking hard then releasing suddenly and completely, or are you tapering your brake pressure down as you approach your turn point?

 

Per your post above (#3), if you are moving your lower body over AFTER braking and BEFORE your turn point... and you want your brake-release point and turn point to be the same spot... could you run into a problem there? :)

 

Do you recall from class WHEN you want to move your hips over in preparation for a turn?

 

To answer your question my braking is a bit of a mess. I often find myself braking way before I need to in anticipation of all the things I have to get done before I enter the turn. As well I'm still getting used to some of my new found speed on the straights and time seems "distorted" to me because of how quickly I'm moving. I suppose it's a bit of an SR. Better early than late. My brake pressure tends to be very low and I'm on the brakes longer.

 

I usually get into position while I'm still on the brakes but towards the end of the braking to be 100% honest sometimes I miss that target and am coasting for a moment when I move. I normally slowly taper the pressure but occasionally in those "oh no" moments I'll snap right off the lever. As for the missed timing for the body position change and end of braking you could completely get the bike unstable. One of the biggest fears I had when I first decided to move around on the bike. :)

 

If I recall from the school you want to move your body while on the brakes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the help so far.

Here are some of my take away's with probably lots more to come.

 

1. I'm looking at braking the wrong way which is probably the fundamental issue that I'm having. In theory I'm thinking the right way. They are a speed adjuster. The problem comes from the way I'm measuring my speed adjustment.

 

2. Brake on and Brake off points with a consistent lever action is a more predictable way of setting entry speed. It has a side effect of being a point of timing for the turn in so my front forks are not at the top of their travel.

 

3. I probably could use some experience on the brake bike the next time I'm at the school.

 

4. I could probably refine a lot of my corner entry technique to give me more time and less stuff to think about.

 

One of the biggest challenges that I have run into from things I have learned at the school is stitching the technique together into one cohesive thing (or a Product to use Keith's term). This comes with experience of course and is different from track to track. Over time it's become easier and I make mental notes of things as I see them to reduce the workload while I'm on the bike. Simple stuff like knowing you need to drop 2 gears for turn 3 makes life easier. I suppose the same mental notes could be done with braking. I found hunting for RPM and gear on turn entry to be tiresome so I made a note of of exactly what needed to be done so I could instantly do it. Braking markers for both brake on and brake off and turn point are much the same thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simple stuff like knowing you need to drop 2 gears for turn 3 makes life easier.

 

Understatement in my opinion. Finding a decent line is job one. After that, figuring out what gear I need to be in for every corner is absolutely essential. I memorize it and go and write it out in my notebook, then go over it in my head sitting in the pits multiple times until I have it down.

 

*Then* I start working on braking points and corner entry speeds, moving those up as appropriate. Honestly I don't find much point in pushing on that aspect until I know 100% what gear I want to be in, everywhere. Personally there is no way I can work on optimizing my braking points and turn-in points if, in between, I am still half guessing about how many downshifts I need.

 

...here is the braking point - squeeze on gradually - now hard - downshift the *pre-determined* number of changes - clutch out let the slipper figure it out - still braking, already at my entry speed - turn-in point is still a bit down track, I'm coasting - next time move the braking marker up some more....

 

So next time I brake a few feet later...and it feels like 100 yards later...it feels impossibly fast....still what feels like some extra speed at my turn in but but I commit to the turn and trail brake into the corner....and then by the apex I realize I am still too slow!....inch it forward again on the next lap. Wash, rinse, repeat.

 

That's a lot going on and I need concentrate 100% on hitting my braking and turn in points, and evaluating after every corner if I could have carried more speed in...the shifting needs to be totally worked out before that process really starts. Occasionally over several sessions on a new layout I will get my corner speeds up so much that I need to alter my gear selection in one corner or another, but then that is just one small change at one point on the track, easily learned.

 

I know it seems like I am veering off topic here, but I'm really not. Proper cornering with trail-braking to maintain the steep front-end rake as you transition from braking forces to cornering forces compressing the suspension, and avoiding the instability that comes from releasing and then reapplying the brakes - that good stuff requires that you have the braking point forward enough so that you don't get your braking done way too early. If you are not naturally trail braking at least a little bit out of actual necessity - that is, if you are still coasting at all before corner entry - then this all really isn't going to come together.

 

All of the above may be totally wrong. I am not a CSS coach (though I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night). Just relaying my own thinking on it, based on my personal experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

YellowDuck,

 

That was super helpful. Having insight into the ways that other people approach the issue is always helpful for formulating your own plan. Thank you for sharing that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Per your post above (#3), if you are moving your lower body over AFTER braking and BEFORE your turn point... and you want your brake-release point and turn point to be the same spot... could you run into a problem there? :)

 

Do you recall from class WHEN you want to move your hips over in preparation for a turn?

 

 

 

I usually get into position while I'm still on the brakes but towards the end of the braking to be 100% honest sometimes I miss that target and am coasting for a moment when I move. I normally slowly taper the pressure but occasionally in those "oh no" moments I'll snap right off the lever. As for the missed timing for the body position change and end of braking you could completely get the bike unstable. One of the biggest fears I had when I first decided to move around on the bike. :)

 

If I recall from the school you want to move your body while on the brakes.

 

 

Robert,

You are mentally hauling butt while slowing down :o

Have you thought about what you need to do before entering a turn?

How many steps are flying through your brain in that couple of seconds?

 

Cutting to the chase (no pun intended) Move your ass whilst go the gas!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If i were you

 

1) change brake pads that deliver confidence and are more linear , linear pads make trail braking much more manageable (ie eats much less of your $10 worth of attention)

2.1) tune if possible the engine braking characteristics to be a bit more aggressive IF the suspension is really dialed in

2.2) add more rebound damping if the suspension isnt dialed in properly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is preferable to move your lower body before you let off the gas, while the bike is still very stable. Moving your hips while on the brakes makes things busy, can make it hard to stay locked in, and has you moving while you are off the gas, which is less stable for the bike.

 

CSS recommendation is to shift your hips over before you let off the gas. You can still keep both knees clamped on the tank to support you during braking. Your upper body will not necessarily shift over until you are about to turn the bike.

 

Getting your lower body position prior to braking, having your gear shifts planned (with reference points) and completed before your turn point, and having reference points for starting and stopping braking will free up a lot of attention that you can apply to working on your braking. Moving your brake release point (and/or your braknes-on point) forward gradually is a great way to approach it on a gradient to control SRs, but if you vary your braking intensity each lap that creates TWO variables which makes it harder to measure result - so try to keep your braking intensity consistent, and just move your markers gradually.

 

Some time on the brake rig could be quite helpful - part of that exercise is learning how to apply the brake properly, allowing you to brake harder at beginning of braking (but without snatching at the lever) and tapering off towards the end of braking. It can also help you realize how hard you really can brake, with proper technique, which can really shorten your braking distance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If i were you

 

1) change brake pads that deliver confidence and are more linear , linear pads make trail braking much more manageable (ie eats much less of your $10 worth of attention)

2.1) tune if possible the engine braking characteristics to be a bit more aggressive IF the suspension is really dialed in

 

2.2) add more rebound damping if the suspension isnt dialed in properly

 

I think the problem is more focused on me than the machine to be 100% honest. One of my bikes is a professionally setup machine that's really as close as you can get to perfect. The problem is completely the same with this bike as it is my mostly stock bike. In the future though this is something to think about and keep in mind once I resolve the riding error.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the ass and gas idea most of the time. In normal speed turns I don't really have an issue because you aren't trying to scrub off so much speed and things aren't happening so quickly.

 

I have a lot of work to do on my braking for sure. I also have a lot to do getting more comfortable with higher speeds. Two "minor" SR's combining together to ruin everything. From some of the advice in this thread I probably should revisit some corner entry prep which could probably use some refinement anyway.

 

I'm going to do a few things to try and resolve this issue.

 

#1 slow down a bit on the straight so I have more time to think and I'm not tripping SR's.

#2 work on utilizing brake markers and turn entry points and ditching "feel" for more defined points of timing.

#3 work on being harder on the brakes.

#4 work on staying on the gas longer and moving my body while I'm still on the throttle.

#5 Do the brake bike when I'm at the school and face my braking SR's head on.

#6 once numbers 2-5 have been worked on gradually increase the speed on the straight back to my normal speed and beyond (not rolling out so early alone is probably worth another 30mph or more on the straight)

 

What's really ironic and fun about learning new things is they cause you all sorts of issues in other areas. Before I started going as faster down the straight my questionable timing was perfectly fine. Compress the amount of time you have to do things and all of the flaws and faults start to appear.

 

Thanks for all the help guys and gals. I'll let you know how it goes when I have some more data.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watching them come down the long straight at Qatar, it seems they time the sitting up with the hip shift and getting on the brakes....like all three in one move?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watching them come down the long straight at Qatar, it seems they time the sitting up with the hip shift and getting on the brakes....like all three in one move?

like clockwork , wonder how many hours they have to put in to achieve such precision and consistency!

 

its like running a preprogrammed macro 20+ times over a maze with other unexpected factors chipping in (eg a race)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Practice, Practice and more Practice. Since it's their career they likely spend a lot more time at the track than even a dedicated track junkie. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Robert,

Sounds like you have a good plan to discuss with your level 4 consultant. ? I have no doubt we'll be able to simplify matters for you in short order.

 

One other thing to think about... If you are able to spot your turn point before you apply the brakes, will you have the info you need to know 1) how much speed you need to scrub, 2) how much distance you have to scrub it? With that info, is it easier to judge how much brake pressure you need to hit your turn point at the proper speed? Is this a bit simpler than what's been going through your mind? In some cases you can't see your turn point early enough (like approaching Charlottes Web at Barber) so a beginning braking marker becomes absolutely necessary but most often for me I can brake very effectively using only the turn point as a reference. I find most of my students are able to as well so hopefully it can help you too. Good luck my friend.

 

Benny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...